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September 14, 2010. Elise called to ask what she could bring to our Labor Day dinner party. I said the menu was all set. She offered a jar of fig jam. Fig jam? Yeah, I just made it from the figs we grew out back. Well, sure – bring it on over.

Our crazy hot summer produced an abundance of very ripe figs on the tree in Elise and Tony’s backyard in Brooklyn. Couldn’t possibly eat them all, so now it’s jam. Some of it’s fig jam pizza.

Roll it
Pre-heat your oven and pizza stone to 550 or its highest possible temperature; or, start a fire in your grill and spread the coals when the flames are gone.

Meanwhile, roll out your dough into a crust, just like in Pizza 101. And prepare your toppings.

Fig & Feta Pizza
Grate a cup of feta cheese and thinly slice a fresh fig or two. Black Mission figs are seasonally ripe, readily available and inexpensive right now.

Spread the cheese on your crust and put it in the oven (or on the grill with its cover) for three or four minutes, until both the crust and cheese begin to brown.

Take it out. Spread some patches of fig jam on top of the cheese, but don’t cover the entire surface. Put the fig slices on top. Option: toss some fresh herbs on top; I used a very little bit of thyme.

Back into the oven for two minutes. Take out a beautiful, aromatic and wildly yummy pizza. I’d eat this for breakfast, lunch or dessert any day. Thanks, Elise.

For your convenience
If you’d like a quick refresher course in rolling your own pizza dough, here’s the video:

Click if you’d like to see all of Pizza 101

Cost-Benefit Analysis
Crust: 34 cents. A super fresh fig from the Farmers Market: less than 50 cents. Elise’s fig jam: priceless. But if you had to buy some, less than 50 cents for the small amount on this pizza. A deliriously delicious brunch for two – for less than two dollars.

Cost Comparison
For $15.99, the Domino’s in my neighborhood will make one 12″ pie with shredded mozzarella, chopped tomatoes, spinach and mushrooms. Depending on my choice of sauce and crust style, it’ll come with sugar, partially hydrogenated soybean oil (transfat), the dreaded high fructose corn syrup, sugar and/or mono- and tri-glycerides.

Let’s Do The Math
Results showed that most people were gaining weight gradually over time, with the average American adult gaining 1 to 2 lb per year … relatively small changes in energy intake and expenditure adding up to 100 kcal/day could arrest excess weight gain in most people.” Journal of the American Dietetic Association. Yup, knocking off 100 calories a day is enough to prevent weight gain for most of us. That’s a brisk 15-minute walk – or two slices of my pizza instead of theirs.

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